The kids and I were enjoying a leisurely fall walk the other day. We got to an intersection.
Okay, when the red hand turns into a green man walking, Evan, you hold my hand so we can cross the street together, and Claire, hold the stroller so we can be safe.
Red hand into green man. Go.
We start across the street with both kids dutifully holding on to their respective spots with their eyes on the goal in front of us - sidewalk.
We get to the middle of the street. Evan's eyes wander for a moment from the sidewalk in front of us to the cars lined up beside us, and the ones wanting to turn onto the street we are crossing. Then complete PANIC.
He lets go of my hand, starts running one way across the street, then back the other way, trying to avoid all the cars he is sure are going to get him. The best way to describe it for you Tennesseans is a squirrel in the middle of the road running back and forth trying to decide which side is safest until he eventually gets smashed because he can't make up his mind.
It could have been bad. It could have been very bad. Somehow stroller, Mom, and three kids made it to the other side where I put on my figurative safety badge and told Evan about all the safety violations he had just made.
Then as we continued to walk I realized I have enacted that exact scene over and over and over again in my own life. When things are going well, I hold tight to the Lord's hand, trusting in Him completely. I keep my eyes on the goal ahead - eternal life - and continue happily on my walk enjoying the beautiful scenery. But when I get right into the thick of it, and look to the sides and see the cars waiting to smash me, or the 3 year old whining and screaming and kicking and the 2 year old hitting and biting and the baby. . . well the baby is generally innocent in these scenarios thus far. . . but when I get into the thick of it and can't take the attitude anymore, I let go of the Lord's hand and decide I'm going to do it my way. I yell! Or smack my hand on the table and then yell. Or do a million childish things that I'm not proud of.
The kids and I manage to get to the other side - through the tense moment - but it's never in the same pleasurable manner we would have enjoyed if I had held hands and trusted the whole way.
So what does this have to do with frugality? Nothing. Except we were walking a mile and a half, because that's how far away from campus you have to park if you don't want to pay $6 for the parking garage. So park and walk. You just might learn some life lessons on the way. . . if your 2 year old doesn't become roadkill first.